More than 70 of the US’s leading food and agricultural associations have sent a letter urging Congress to include the Safe, Flexible and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act, H.R. 3488 as an amendment to the highway reauthorization legislation, which is expected to be brought before the full House of Representatives this week.

The bipartisan amendment is sponsored by Reps. Reid Ribble (R-WI), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), David Rouzer (R-NC) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).

“We believe the SAFE Trucking Act is a carefully crafted proposal with broad support that will safely improve transportation efficiency, facilitate economic growth and bring much needed improvements to the American food supply chain,” the letter says. “It will modernize US truck weight limits, allowing the food and agriculture industry to safely enhance the efficiency of truck and connected modes of transportation.”

According to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), by raising the federal gross vehicle weight limit for trucks equipped with six axles rather than the typical five and giving states the flexibility to utilize these trucks where they see fit, the SAFE Trucking Act would modernize truck shipments on interstate highways by allowing trucks to carry more product and reduce the number of trucks on US roadways.

"IDFA thanks Congressman Ribble's leadership and Representatives Schrader, Rouzer and Peterson for their partnership on this common-sense amendment," says Chelsee Woodey, IDFA director of legislative affairs. "Truck weight reform is a key issue for our members and the many other industries relying on trucks to move goods to market, as well as all to of us who share our highways with them. We hope to see it pass the House this week during the highway bill debate."

Read the letter here.